Five video game genres that I stopped playing and why
Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 9:00 am
It’s weird when you look back at your life and see how you’ve changed, grown, and sometimes simply stopped doing things you used to be really into.  While I’m just as crazy about adventure games, RPGs, and many strategy titles … Continue reading


WildStar unveils Warplots DevSpeak
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 10:00 am

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WE ARE THE BORG.  YOU WILL DEACTIVATE YOUR BASE DEFENSES AND PREPARE FOR A PVP LOSS.  RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.  YOUR RATING IS IRRELEVANT.  FROM THIS POINT FORWARD YOUR RESOURCES WILL BE ADAPTED TO SERVE AS OURS.
Do you consider yourself something of a military genius? Do you also consider yourself a big enthusiast for player housing? Have you long wished for some form of gameplay that combined your love of building the prettiest dwelling possible with your love of killing other players? Then you're looking for WildStar's Warplots. They're a thing. Yes, they're customizable fortresses that you pit against other customized fortresses from other players, that is the whole deal.

Want to know more? Well, if you see that little "Continue Reading" button down there, you can click that and watch the latest DevSpeak from the development team covering Warplots. Is that not enough for you? All right, then, you can read through our coverage of the gameplay mode from PAX East when we got to take an advance look at it. Still not enough? Maybe you'll need to wait until the game launches in June, then. Do not convert your front lawn into a death fortress and attempt to fight a PvP Nerf war with the mail carrier. That won't go over well.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

Continue reading WildStar unveils Warplots DevSpeak

MassivelyWildStar unveils Warplots DevSpeak originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    What is the state of The Elder Scrolls Online?
    Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 8:14 am
    Today I had a mail from IGN in my mailbox, who did a review of The Elder Scrolls Online and gave it a not really great score of 78. That is the day after reading the PC Gamer review which gave TESO a 68. A look at Metacritic reveals a familiar story: A bunch of reviews from release day giving the game high-ish scores around 90. And then reviews with lower scores trickling in over the three weeks since. Average score thus trending downwards, currently at 78, which is less than stellar.

    I wonder if the actual players show a similar trend. I have no idea how many copies The Elder Scrolls Online sold, apparently Zenimax only published how many people signed up for the free beta. That is borderline misleading, because obviously not everybody interested in a free beta will then want to pay the price of a full game plus a $15 a month subscription. I would be really interested to know the actual sales up to now. The only data I have is the very imprecise Xfire score compiled by the Nosy Gamer, which shows TESO being played less than SWTOR or FFXIV, and only slightly more than Aion.

    Now in the MMORPG blogosphere there is frequently talk of the "three-monther" MMORPG. Many triple-A MMORPGs post-WoW have lost the majority of their initial players in the first three months. But personally I believe that over half of that three-month loss happens at the end of the first month, because that is the first time where a player has to decide whether he actually wants to pay a subscription for the game he is playing. Now I've read some stories about accounting irregularities with TESO, where basically you couldn't play your free month if you didn't have $15 on your credit card. All game companies are trying to force you to sign up for a subscription, so usually you need to subscribe and then actively unsubscribe before the free month ends if you don't want to pay any subscription fee. But the end of the first month still remains a rather important milestone. Too bad that as we don't even know initial sales, it is unlikely that Zenimax will reveal how many players they lost after one or three months.

    In the specific case of The Elder Scrolls Online there will be another important milestone after two months: The Wildstar headstart begins May 31st. It is inevitable that *some* players will decide to switch from TESO to Wildstar, but very hard to predict how many that will be. Warlords of Draenor will probably be too late in the year to really make a big dent into TESO player numbers any more.

    Up to now I have no data which would suggest that The Elder Scrolls Online has better than mediocre success. But if somebody has data that suggest otherwise, I would be very happy to hear them. From what you know, how is The Elder Scrolls Online doing?
    Tobold's Blog



    Early Theme Adopters: Hemingway Rewritten
    Posted by WordPress.com News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 8:00 am
    In our Early Theme Adopters series, we focus on bloggers creating great-looking sites with the most recent additions to our Theme Showcase. Today, let’s visit some of the sites that are already using Hemingway Rewritten, a free theme that makes both words and images shine.


    The Daily Grind: Are you into stealthing mechanics?
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 9:00 am

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    WildStar
    Apart from the Imperial Agent in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I haven't played a lot of stealth-able characters in MMOs. For me, I just don't see the appeal of sucker-punching bad guys instead of facing off in a fair fight; it kind of makes me feel as though I'm bullying them. Plus, having to walk slower in stealth, constantly worry about positioning, and ignoring the illogic of disappearing in broad daylight all wave me off of such characters.

    But that's me and those are my hang-ups. I know that stealthing is pretty popular in certain quarters, and I can concede that when done right (as in the Thief series) it can be a compelling mechanic. So I'd like to hear whether you're into being all stealthy in MMOs and what you think about how these systems have been handled over the years.

    Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

    MassivelyThe Daily Grind: Are you into stealthing mechanics? originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      The value of trash mobs
      Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 3:09 am
      My pen & paper role-playing campaign uses Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition rules. 4E rules are excellent for creating epic combat encounters. As I wrote in our campaign journal yesterday, this week we had an encounter which involved an evil cleric, a vampire, a basilisk, and five minor vampire spawns. So the players need to assess the relative danger that those 4 different types of enemy pose to them, and make tactical decisions which enemy to take out first. And the rules system gives them daily powers, powers they can use once per encounter, and powers they can use every round to select from. So as long as players enjoy that sort of tactical games, 4E makes for really great epic fights.

      What 4E does much less well is trash mobs. "Classic", that is earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons, had more, but smaller encounters. For example the Keep on the Borderlands (Caves of Chaos) classic D&D module from 1979 has 64 encounters, but most of them are small and with just one type of monsters. So you meet 9 kobolds in one room, and then 3 orcs in the next, while 4E would rather do fewer encounters, but each having several monster types. In earlier editions of D&D all spells are "daily" powers, so if you use your magic missile in one fight, you can't use it in the next. Thus a series of small encounters works as a challenge of resource management. In 4E players would just use at-will and encounter powers if they met 3 orcs, and thus spend at best a healing surge here or there in a series of small encounters.

      Thus my 4E campaign looks a bit like a MMORPG raid dungeon without trash mobs: There are only epic boss fights. Or rather, there are boss fights, and non-boss fights which aren't any less epic. No need to grind through trash mobs which pose no real challenge to the players. Or is there?

      A reader commented yesterday that my players were frequently rather timid, and not very heroic. And I began to wonder in how far that is my fault: If every single fight they enter is a life or death epic struggle, no wonder that they are rather careful. Maybe I need more trash mob encounters, where my players without much effort dispatch 3 orcs. Maybe there is a psychological value to trash mob encounters in making the players feel strong and heroic, and then less afraid of the epic boss fights. After all, there must be a reason those trash mobs are in every MMORPG raid dungeon.
      Tobold's Blog



      GWJ Conference Call Episode 393
      Posted by Gamers With Jobs - Conference Call [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 April 2014, 12:40 am

      Episode 393 - April 23rd, 2014
      Tons of Games From PAX, Film Noir in Gaming, Special Guest Kate Craig From Fullbright Company, Your Emails and more!

      Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
      (A Bright 44.9 MBs, 1:18:28)

      This week the fantastic Kate Craig joins the crew to talk about the Film Noir genre in gaming and lots more!

      read more




      Media Link

      Black Desert's extreme character creation profiled in video
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 10:00 pm

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      Black Desert
      Overseas MMO expert Steparu is back with another round of Black Desert videos that make North Americans extremely sad about the ongoing Korean beta and the lack thereof here. The videos highlight character creation, specifically the hyperrealistic (and, er, extremely toned) Sorcerer, Warrior, Giant, and Archer models, male and female, complete with musculature and hair mesh toggles and sliders. We're not exaggerating when we say that this is extreme character customization, folks. Enjoy two of the videos below and the rest over at Steparu.com.

      Continue reading Black Desert's extreme character creation profiled in video

      MassivelyBlack Desert's extreme character creation profiled in video originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Server Maintenance, Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
      Posted by Lineage II [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 6:31 pm
      All game servers will be down for maintenance on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, at 5am PDT / 7am CDT / 8am EDT / 12pm UTC/GMT. Estimated downtime is approximately 4 hours. With this maintenance: The 10th Anniversary In-game events...


      War Thunder introduces closed beta tank events
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 8:00 pm

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      War Thunder
      Gaijin Entertainment posted today that it's launching tank events for War Thunder's closed beta participants. Prices of tanks and associated purchases have been slashed by 90% to facilitate this test phase; accordingly, Gaijin warns, everything will be wiped once again before the WWII combat sim's open beta begins.

      The studio also recently announced its intention to launch War Thunder in China in 2014 via Tencent and revealed its Elo-based rating system for squadron battles.

      MassivelyWar Thunder introduces closed beta tank events originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Landmark's devs on crafting and item upgrading
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 8:30 pm

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      Landmark
      SOE Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani and Lead Systems Designer Michael Mann present this week's Landmark roundtable video, this time focusing on one of the more detailed components of the sandbox's crafting system: item upgrading, which beat out reinforcing, imbuing, and refining among roundtable voters as the system most worthy of prioritization. Mann explains that item upgrading is intended to reduce the demoralizing effects of RNG; eventually, all crafted items will be created as green-quality items that are upgrade-able depending on player skill and statted according to player direction via relics.

      Dariani and Mann also hint that Landmark and EverQuest Next will share the same crafting-related back-end systems and that Landmark's crafting will ultimately "flavor" the crafting system in EQN. The full roundtable video is below.

      Continue reading Landmark's devs on crafting and item upgrading

      MassivelyLandmark's devs on crafting and item upgrading originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Massively Speaking Episode 294: Moar mailbag, please!
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 9:00 pm

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      We're so behind on addressing our mail on the show that we've decided to dedicate an episode to playing catch-up! Don't worry, as there will still be news, but Bree and Justin need to clean out their inbox to make room for all of the excellent emails to come. You understand.

      Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

      Get the podcast:
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      Listen here on the page:



      Read below the cut for the full show notes.

      Continue reading Massively Speaking Episode 294: Moar mailbag, please!

      MassivelyMassively Speaking Episode 294: Moar mailbag, please! originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Star Trek Online launches Season 9: A New Accord
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 6:00 pm

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        Season 10: A Used Nissan Sentra.  Season 11: Repairing Dad's Old Mustang.  Season 12: Bicycles.
        It's been a long while since Star Trek Online captains had to fear the Undine. This mysterious race has moved off of the radar as the Federation and KDF have explored the Solanae Dyson Sphere, fought back against the Borg and the Tholians, and sought allies upon New Romulus. But the latest patch for the game sees the Undine stepping up their campaign of aggression from fluidic space, sending players through a new series of featured episodes, introducing a new reputation, and offering several new endgame activities.

        Season 9 also brings with it a number of other changes, including a revamp to how both kits and reputations work. Both systems are now more flexible, with the former allowing captains more control over which abilities show up on the ground and the latter providing more player choice over the long term. Take a look at the full list of additions and get ready to set a course for new dangers in this update.

        Continue reading Star Trek Online launches Season 9: A New Accord

        MassivelyStar Trek Online launches Season 9: A New Accord originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        CCP staff to wrestle MMA fighter at Fanfest 2014
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 7:00 pm

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        Fanfest
        CCP is looking to give its fans their admission's worth for Fanfest 2014, as the studio announced that members of its team will be wrestling against MMA fighter Gunnar Nelson during the show. That's MMA, not MMO, by the way. The event, called EVE OF DESTRUCTION, will take place on Friday, May 2nd, in a series of 10 one-on-one wrestling matches.

        CCP would also like to remind you that voting for EVE Online's 9th Council of Stellar Management ends tonight at midnight.

        MassivelyCCP staff to wrestle MMA fighter at Fanfest 2014 originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        WildStar springs another 'bonus' beta weekend for all
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 5:00 pm

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        WildStar
        Carbine's limited four-part WildStar beta weekend run leading up to release is now in danger of becoming a Friday the 13th-sized franchise, as the studio announced today that it will hold another bonus beta weekend starting on Friday. Anyone who has signed up for the beta will be given a code for the weekend, so there's no reason not to check this game out if so inclined.

        The bonus weekend begins on Friday the 25th at 10:00 a.m. EST and will conclude on Monday, April 28th, at 3:00 a.m. EST. The team is raising the level cap to 25 and giving everyone a hoverboard to enjoy. Each day of this bonus beta weekend also counts toward accumulating "boom boxes" full of goodies that will be delivered at launch.

        [Source: Carbine Studios press release]

        MassivelyWildStar springs another 'bonus' beta weekend for all originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          LOTRO: The day after
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 April 2014, 9:00 am
          The title here has a double meaning, in that I not only started playing the new Update 13 epic story the day after it came out, but the storyline itself begins the day after the Battle of Helm’s Deep.  Time … Continue reading


          Quote of the Day: It’s business
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 April 2014, 10:12 am
          “Videogame design is not a democracy; first and foremost it’s business and sneaky psychology.” ~ Syl


          Gabriel Knight 2: Werewolf hunt
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 April 2014, 12:10 pm
          (This is part of my journey playing through Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.) In our previous episode of Gabriel Knight 2, Gabe stumbles upon a very naked Von Zell … Continue reading


          My WildStar crew, part 1
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 April 2014, 3:39 pm
          With the WildStar beta weekend and the new patch boasting additional body options and hairstyles, I knew I had to make it my goal to log in and work on my future characters’ looks.  Here’s the crew of possibles that … Continue reading


          Quote of the Day: Trait revamp
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 April 2014, 4:24 pm
          “Between the level increase to unlock traits (seriously, waiting until level 30 is terrible. If it had to have been changed, it should have been to level 20, at the highest), and the requirements to then unlock traits, I see … Continue reading


          My WildStar crew, part 2
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 April 2014, 9:00 am
          And here are my efforts to create fun-looking characters over on the Dominion side of things: It might just be me, but it seems as though Cassians get better options, especially in the hairstyle department.  Seriously, how could I *not* … Continue reading


          Weekend gaming report
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 8:23 am
          I had a very busy if scattered weekend of gaming, so here’s what I’ve been up to: LOTRO: I’ll write up a longer post later on about the continuing adventures through Update 13.  It definitely feels like a much smaller … Continue reading


          Gabriel Knight 2: Reunited at last!
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 12:00 pm
          (This is part of my journey playing through Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.) The final chapter of the game (stick with me — we’re on the home stretch now!) … Continue reading


          The Secret World: A fistful of bees
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 8:05 am
          Our Monday night Secret World group reconvened to tackle the second of the four investigation missions: Immersion, AKA “The Game.” The mission started out with one of the very few alive Orochi in the game, this one in the camp … Continue reading


          Sorting through musical history
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 10:24 am
          I began collecting MP3s back in… 1999, it was?  I remember converting my old CDs and downloading new tunes on Napster via a dial-up connection (one song in 10 minutes… what futuristic technology is this?).  Since then my collection has … Continue reading


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